It turns out that Donald Trump lost big in a Florida court while he was busy winning the Republican Party nomination at the Republican National Convention last week.
According to the Miami Herald, Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto ruled in favor of a local paint store in a case regarding Trump’s unpaid bills. The case, heard in a Miami-Dade County courtroom, resulted in an order for the Trump’s National Doral Miami golf resort to pay the small family business almost $300,000 in attorney’s fees.
Apparently, Trump tried to rip off the small business, The Paint Spot, in regards to the final payment on a contract sum of $200,000. The final payment was for $34,863 for paint used to renovate a home located on Trump’s “Blue Monster” golf course in 2014.
Trump’s National, the company named in the lawsuit, has insisted that it has “paid enough” for the paint sold, regardless of the amount on the contract. The Paint Spot then exercised their rights by placing a lien on the resort property. This resulted in Judge Cueto ordering the foreclosure and sale of the resort to satisfy the lien.
This ruling to foreclose and auction off the resort was reported in USA Today in June, when Judge Cueto noted in his ruling that Trump’s legal team looked positively stricken when the construction manager admitted during testimony that the company had decided not to pay The Paint Spot because it felt like it had “already paid enough.” In his ruling, Judge Cueto noted that:
‘Trump’s trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily.’
Trump’s National placed $34,000 in escrow in order to forestall the court house auction, and the case has been put on hold while the parent company, Trump Endeavor, considers an appeal.
The lien, however, still remains, and Cueto has been tasked with ruling on The Paint Spot’s legal fees. The small mom-and-pop paint store hired the kind of big gun lawyers necessary to go after a Trump business interest, and three $500-an-hour lawyers and two $150-an-hour paralegals were brought onboard to fight the real estate mogul.
According to court records, Trump’s National objected to those hourly rates, claiming that the company paid only $400 per hour for its own attorneys.
Cueto ruled that the legal fees were reasonable. Trump has been ordered to pay for 500 hours of legal service since The Paint Spot legal team spent hours preparing for the trial, even if it did not occur. Judge Cueto also added a 75-percent “risk” fee because the paint store’s lawyers had agreed to waive payment if their client didn’t win the lawsuit.
The total of Judge Cueto’s order is $282,949.91 and includes fees for expert testimony and office expenses.
Juan Carlos Enriquez, who owns The Paint Spot, says that he is happy to have a positive judgment in the case:
‘But he [Trump] hasn’t paid yet.’
‘You know how he says he’ll surround himself with the greatest people if he is president? In this case, he might not be surrounded by the right people.’
Donald Trump has a 30-year history of underpaying or simply flat out refusing to pay bills. This video from Newsy YouTube Channel shows a good summary of Trump’s arbitrary attitude about paying his bills and the flood of complaints by business that have been stiffed by Trump over the years.
Featured image via Getty Images.